Hands-On Review: the Tascam DR-60D

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Watch Rob Rives as he looks at Tascam’s DR-60D 4 Channel Linear PCM Recorder, with a form factor and feature set designed specifically to meet the needs of DSLR videographers. Combo ¼-inch XLR inputs and a stereo mini input give the user versatile options for plugging in external microphones or line level gear, and the unit records audio to SD or SDHC cards at rates of up to 24-bit/96 kHz.

In addition to high quality mic preamps, phantom power and plug-in power, the DR-60D offers several recording modes, including dual- and 4-channel options, and there’s even a mid-side decoding option. Additional features include a sophisticated auto-record mode, a self-timer and mini inputs / outputs to interface with DSLR cameras.  DSLR shooters and sound professionals looking for a quality, inexpensive recording solution will definitely want to spend some time with this video.

Recording Media SD card (64 MB - 2 GB)
SDHC card (4 GB - 32 GB)
File System WAV: 44.1/48/96 kHz, 16/24-bit
BWF (Broadcast Wave Format): 44.1/48/96 kHz, 16/24-bit
Number of Channels 4 channels (stereo x 2)
Input Connectors 2x XLR/TRS combo jacks (channels 1, 2)
1x stereo 3.5 mm mini jack (channels 3, 4)
1x stereo 3.5 mm mini jack (CAMERA IN)
1x 2.5 mm TRS jack (REMOTE)
Output Connectors 1x stereo 3.5 mm mini jack (CAMERA OUT)
1x stereo 3.5 mm mini jack (PHONES)
1x stereo 3.5 mm mini jack (LINE OUT)
Phantom Power 24V, 48V (channels 1, 2)
Plug-in power (channels 3, 4)
Distortion .02% or less
S/N Ratio 92 db or more
Equivalent Input Noise -120 dBu or more
Frequency Response 20 Hz - 20 kHz (+0.5/-2 dB)
USB USB Mini-B Type (USB 2.0)
Computer Compatibility Windows: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and Pentium 300 MHz or faster, 128 MB or more memory, USB port (USB 2.0 recommended)
Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.2 or later and Power PC, iMac, G3, G4, 266 MHz or faster, 64 MB or more memory, USB port (USB 2.0 recommended)
(Intel chipset recommended)
Power Four AA batteries (Alkaline or Ni-MH)
USB bus power supplied from a computer
AC adaptor (TASCAM PS-P515U, sold separately)
External battery pack (TASCAM BP-6AA, sold separately)
Power Consumption 5.4 W (max)
Battery Operating Time Recording 2-channel, 44.1 kHz. 16-bit WAV files:
About 2 hrs, 30 min (Alkaline batteries (EVOLTA), MIC + 48V)
About 4 hrs, 30 min (Alkaline batteries (EVOLTA), MIC, no phantom power)
About 3 hrs, 15 min (Ni-MH batteries (eneloop), MIC + 48V)
About 5 hrs (Ni-MH batteries (eneloop), MIC, no phantom power)
About 3 hrs, 45 min (Ni-MH batteries (eneloop pro), MIC + 48V)
About 6 hrs (Ni-MH batteries (eneloop pro), MIC, no phantom power)
About 5 hrs, 30 min (optional BP-6AA battery pack, Alkaline batteries (EVOLTA), MIC + 48V)
About 10 hrs, 30 min (optional BP-6AA battery pack, Alkaline batteries (EVOLTA), MIC, no phantom power)
About 7 hrs, 30 min (optional BP-6AA battery pack, Ni-MH batteries (eneloop), MIC + 48V)
About 12 hrs (optional BP-6AA battery pack, Ni-MH batteries (eneloop), MIC, no phantom power)
About 9 hrs, 30 min (optional BP-6AA battery pack, Ni-MH batteries (eneloop pro), MIC + 48V)
About 14 hrs, 30 min (optional BP-6AA battery pack, Ni-MH batteries (eneloop pro), MIC, no phantom power)
Dimensions 5.24 x 3.67 x 3.07" (133 x 93.2 78 mm)
Weight 18 oz (510 g)

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These video overviews are tremendously interesting and useful. Really appreciate you offering these.

what mic set up was the tascam paired with for this video? Just curious.
Thanks!

is this tascam comparable with a sound devices mix pre-D ???

Thanks

I ordered A Tascam dr-60d and a i.Sound Portable Power Max (16000 mAh) just yesterday with the idea that the i.Sound will power the Tascam unit. I was just wondering if this would work, any thoughts?

Hi, I am looking into purchasing either the Tascam DR-60D or the new Zoom H6. Is there a considerable difference in the preamps between the two? Since it is new, I can't find many reviews on it, or any comparing the two.

Thanks,
Jimmie

Hey!

Is it possible to use Tascam DR-60D as an external mixer only for DSL cameras, without recording? Like a Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO HDSLR Audio Adapte for example.

How is the quality of camera out?

If DR-60D has 4 channels input and camera out has only two, how the channels are devided to the stereo camera out plug?

I am looking for a external device for my EOS 600d, which allows to mix two (or more) mics, monitor the sound level and provide phantom power. I first considered Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO, but since Tascam is 90$ cheaper, seems to have all the features I require and adds some extras on the way, it seems smarter choice! Or does it?

Hi!

I have a tascam DR-60D, and used it with a radio mic however when i came to sync the footage the tascam had slowed down the audio so it kept going out of sync.

As far as I can see no one else has posted this problem so I'm stuck with what to do!

Is there any ideas of how to fix this?

Thank you!
Kat

Hi,

I'm thinking about the DR60 to work together with my Canon 5D. My set up will include 2 lavalier mics and one Røde NGT 2 mounted on camera.
Most of times I'll have up to this 3 mics recorded on the DR60, but, my doubt is that if I need to record a fourth channel, how should I manage it?

I thought about using the 3/4 mini jack input to record a ST channel with separate signals. Is that possible?

thanks a lot

Hi. Thanks for your great info. I got a few quetions. How is the quality difference between the Tascam D60 vs Roland R26? Im planing to use it for Actors dialogue. How's the Mixer quality on Tascam D60?. Im on budget and Im trying to save the bucks for a Mixer. Thank you so much.

Hi  Kary -

The Roland R-26 offers features like 6 track recording that may not be important to you.  The Tascam DR 60d offers great audio quality and basic mixing capability at a very reasonable price.  The mic pre-amps and all the controls are very low noise.  I think it is more than equal to the type of project you propose. 

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hello,

when I connect the Tascam to a 600D, will the audio recorded INSIDE the camera (with the settings made on the Tascam) or only inside the Tascam?

With the Tascam DR-60D is there any time-code information recorded?

How do you sync to the pictures in post-production is my main question?

Thanks

Hi Mark -

There is no time code information.  You can sync by marking the beginning or end of scenes with a clapper.  Or you can use this popular software solution:

PluralEyes 3 from Red Giant is an electronic download of software for automatically syncing double system audio with video, and features a speed increase of up to 20x over PluralEyes 2. PluralEyes 3 is compatible with both Mac and Windows platforms. The software imports your footage into its own timeline and automatically syncs the video from a single or multiple cameras to simultaneously recorded audio. Automatic syncing is accomplished by the software lining up the audio waveforms of the audio and video files, so for PluralEyes to work you must record an audio scratch track with your video footage. PluralEyes is able to import/export timelines from/to Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Media Composer, and Vegas Pro. You can also export .mov or .avi media files for use in other programs.

PluralEyes works with references to your original clips, so even though the clips are synced up, the workflow itself is non-destructive; your original media is unaffected. Even when exporting your clips as .mov or .avi, PluralEyes 3 is creating new media, and not adjusting the original files. Manual adjustment tools allow you to tweak the sync if you feel it needs adjustment, as well as work with PluralEyes tools to sync problematic clips. The new "Do it for me" workflow option allows you to let PluralEyes establish sync points, without your organizing the footage beforehand. PluralEyes 3 comes with two licenses so you can load the software on a workstation for when you are in the office, and a laptop for location work. Red Giant provides free support, and is available during business hours by email, chat, and phone.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi

Im interested in the Tascam 60d.  I just wanted to check one thing-can I use it to record directly into the camera? Bypassing the camera AGC?  My setup is a Canon 7d with with a Rode Videomic Pro.

Can any of the beachtek devices do this including the ability to monitor audio whilst still be able to use the LCD screen on the camera?

Thanks

Hi Kie -

The DR 60D will record directly into the camera while recording a back-up recording to it's own memory card. it cannot 'bypass" the DSLR's AGC.  But the whole point of the recorder is not to use the camera's audio except as a "sync" track.  Some of the Beachtek adapters can circumvent the AGC feature of your camera, however., while monitoring the recording and allowing use of the camera's LCD screen.

The Beachtek DXA-SLR MINI PRO HDSLR Audio Adapter is designed to enhance audio quality with virtually any HDSLR camera by providing high-quality left and right 3.5 mm inputs, as well as a stereo 3.5 mm input. It also features AGC disabling, built-in limiting, headphone monitoring, comprehensive metering and more.

Each channel features a gain control switch with 0 and 15dB settings, and the low-noise preamplifiers and throughput ensure pristine audio quality, wide frequency response and detail. The AGC (Automatic Gain Control) disabling feature eliminates audio level fluctuations that can ruin an otherwise good take. The unit is built tough, mounts to the base of HDSLR cameras, and its rear mounted VU meter displays level in 3 dB increments.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I bought one recently. Great portable field recorder and exceptional value for money. As this device will be carried and not used on a tripod with a camera, I removed the strap bars on the front and the mount bracket on the top. Now it easily fits into a coat pocket or small rucksack for mobile use. If you do this I suggest taping level controls at a fixed position when recording to avoid level variations due to knobs moving due to carry motion shifting the input level knobs. Use the built-in record function to create a second wav at -6dB or -12dB  to trap transient loud 'overs' if appropriate. I normally set my recorders for 'maximum dynamic range' to accomodate loudish transients and just let the ambiances find their own level. The mic pres on this unit are very low noise and clen sounding at this price range.

What is difference internal circuitry between the line out, camera out and mic jacks

thanks

jay

Hi Jay -

1x stereo 3.5 mm mini jack (CAMERA OUT) - This is the output to the mic input on the camera (low impedance)
1x stereo 3.5 mm mini jack (PHONES)         -  This is the headphone output (headphones and active speakers)
1x stereo 3.5 mm mini jack (LINE OUT)       -  Sometimes referred to as AUX this line level signal can be routed to a mixer 

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

My guess is the aux out jack provides a more appropriate signal than the headphone jack to a atomos ninja blade recorder.?

Hi Jay -

Yes the AUX would be the best option in this case.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I have searched the blogs and the manual, and can not find any information to determine if the Tascam 60D can: overdub; re-play previous recorded tracks while recording new track. I have a film project, where the talent speaks a foreign language, and I would like the translator to listen to the playback, while recording their translation into English.  Is this possible with the Tascam DR-60D?

Thanks,

GSB

Hi Gregory -

This recorder does not allow overdubbing functions. You cannot playback and record simultaneously with this device.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I have a senheiser me66.  Which switch position do I use on the dr-60

mic or mic + phantom. 

the me-66 does have its own power

but still unsure..

thanks

Is the Rode Videomic Go compatible with the DR-60D?  I plug it into the Channel 3/4 input and do not get anything.  It does not seem to be getting input signal from the mic.  I plug the mic directly into the Canon T3i and is receives a signal from the mic.

Hi FE2

The RODE VideoMic GO requires "plug-in" power not supplied by the Tascam DR60D.  Your camera however does offer this plug-in power feature. You would need something like the RODE VideoMic which is battery powered.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

DR-60D supports plug-in power but it is set to off by default.

I think this product is cool but I need advices & where I can get it in UK or US...Thaks

Hi Sunny -

Unfortunately B&H cannot ship TASCAM products outside the USA. This recorder may be picked-up at our NYC SuperStore.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Well done. Succinct yet very complete and informative.

We have recently purchased a few of these at an education institution I work at. We are finding that these are very fussy with what batteries work with them, to the extent that it seems to change. We have purchased Duracell, Energiser and many 3rd party brands all of which over 2000mah and find for example 4 fully reharged Duracells will not power up the unit at all. Sometimes the fully recharged Energisers work and a combination of Energisers and 3rd party batteries.

Its very frustrating and has cost us a lot of money in trial and error. The Tascam its self is a great machine to say the least, but we need to get to the bottom of the power/battery issue, can anyone help or have any advice.

Thanks in advance.

Hi D -

  The eneloop 4-Position Charger from Sanyo is bundled with 8 AA and 4 AAA 1.2V, NiMH batteries. It's capable of charging 2-4 batteries simultaneously and allows you to charge both AA and AAA batteries at the same time. You can insert 4 AAA, 4 AA, 2 of each type, or 2 of either type. Each battery can be charged up to 1800 times, and is designed to hold 70-75% of its charge for up to 5 years, in order to provide consistently reliable performance over time. The charger will recharge 1-4 batteries in approximately 7-10 hr.

Indicator lights will flash while charging and then remain on once charging is complete. There is one LED light for each pair of batteries installed. If the lights are off when the power is on and batteries are installed, it means that either the batteries were inserted incorrectly or the charger has an internal failure. The charger runs on 100-240VAC power for worldwide use, and features a standard, flip-out, 2-prong US plug, so it requires no power cord.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com